In response to:

Why Do Societies Give Up?

arohling Wrote: Feb 14, 2013 11:26 AM
Public education is not an entitlement. It is a monopoly run by the government and staffed by card-carrying union teachers who receive a paycheck whether or not they perform their job sufficiently to educate their students. We had a better educational system one hundred years ago than we have today.

Why do once-successful societies ossify and decline?

Hundreds of reasons have been adduced for the fall of Rome and the end of the Old Regime in 18th-century France. Reasons run from inflation and excessive spending to resource depletion and enemy invasion, as historians attempt to understand the sudden collapse of the Mycenaeans, the Aztecs and, apparently, the modern Greeks. In literature from Catullus to Edward Gibbon, wealth and leisure -- and who gets the most of both -- more often than poverty and exhaustion implode civilization.

One recurring theme seems consistent in Athenian literature on the eve of the city's takeover...